Glasgow Warriors: Favaro heads for exit, Johnson and Grigg sign new deals

Simone Favaro was the Warriors' player of the year last season
Favaro was the Warriors' player of the year last season

Glasgow Warriors will not offer 28-year-old Italy flanker Simone Favaro a new contract when his current deal expires at the end of the season.

Favaro has played 28 times for Warriors in two seasons and was voted the club's player of the season last campaign.

It is understood Glasgow have signed open-side flanker Callum Gibbins from Super Rugby champions, the Hurricanes, as a replacement.

Gibbins, 28, will join next season after his commitments in New Zealand.

Meanwhile, Scotland back-row Josh Strauss is likely to be allowed to leave Glasgow when his contract expires this summer.

The 30-year-old, who started Saturday's Six Nations win over Ireland, has attracted interest from clubs in the Top 14 and Aviva Premiership.

Following Monday's announcement that Stormers and Scotland centre Huw Jones will be joining Glasgow in the summer, Sam Johnson and Nick Grigg have extended their stays at Scotstoun.

Nick Grigg
Nick Grigg has played 10 times for Glasgow this season and started in the wins against Connacht, Leinster, Leicester Tigers and Racing 92

They will compete with Jones and Alex Dunbar for starting places, with Mark Bennett's contract expiring.

Australia-born Johnson, 23, has signed a new two-year deal, keeping him in Glasgow until at least May 2019, while Grigg, a year older, will remain with the Warriors for at least another season after extending his contract by a further 12 months until May 2018.

All-action flanker Favaro has featured on nine occasions for Glasgow this season, although shoulder and ankle problems have limited his game time.

Simone Favaro used social media to send a message to Warriors fans
Favaro used social media to send a message to Warriors fans

The Scotstoun fan favourite is included in Italy's Six Nations squad, but missed the opening-round defeat by Wales through injury.

Gibbins has been a member of the Hurricanes' wider Super Rugby group since 2013, earning his place in the full squad in 2015, and going on to make 25 appearances in the competition.

Callum Gibbins
Callum Gibbins has made 25 Super Rugby appearances

The New Zealander is reputed to be among the fittest members of the Canes squad, having twice won the team's notorious pre-season surf-to-peak challenge, which comprises a range of flat and climbing runs and cycles, but has found himself beneath All Blacks prodigy Ardie Savea in the pecking order.

Gibbins captains Manawatu Turbos in the provincial Mitre 10 Cup, where Dave Rennie, who takes over as Glasgow boss this summer, gave him his debut in 2009.

His Turbos stint has also seen him play for Scotland attack coach Jason O'Halloran, who will join Rennie's staff at Scotstoun next season, and Scotland head coach Vern Cotter's brother Jeremy.

The flanker will move to Scotland once his southern hemisphere commitments have been fulfilled.

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